A good way to incorporate action with nice late or early light is to have your subject walk through an area that consists of a small or dappled area of light while you’re shooting. Easier said than done you say? Not if you set it up ahead of time.
As I tell my fellow photographers that take my online classes with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops, to me light is everything. If you can find the light, you can find a shot. Since I’m usually setting my photos up so I can have control, I’m always trying to use the light to my advantage. I like to staged things and then shoot reportage. What I mean is that I like it to look like it was a ‘grab shot’, and I just got lucky with the light. Well, truth being told, I just don’t have the time or sometimes the patients to wait for things to happen. I want things right now, because it’s odds on that what I’m waiting and hoping for will never happen the way I want.
As I said, I like to make photos that appear to be as if they were really happening. One of the ways is to have my subject or subjects walk through a spot of light. I’ll have them start several feet back from where I plan to click the shutter. I set my camera to continuous shooting and tell them to start walking and talking. If they start far enough back, by the time they hit the mark (in the light) they’re in a natural gait. The arms and legs are moving naturally, they’ve forgotten about me, and they’re talking and listening normally. It’s all about “stopping the action and leaving it uncompleted”; one of many ways to create Visual Tension” that I teach in my class and workshop.
In the photo to the left, I had the teacher and student walk through my frame, I set my camera on continuous and when they approach the mark (the small area of light), I started shooting. In order to hit the mark, and at the right exposure, I stood them in the spot I wanted and took a couple of shots to determine what I was after as far as being a little underexposed. Once I determined the right look, I backed them up and began the process.
In the photo of the two golfers, I did virtually the same thing only this time I had them walk to where the shade ended and the bright (backlit) light began.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.
Be sure to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.